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SRINAGAR — The government has lifted the ban on import of poultry from non-infected areas after no case of bird flu were detected in Jammu and Kashmir.

An order issued by Principal Secretary, Animal Husbandry Navin Kumar Choudhary reads “ in view of stringent surveillance mechanism in place for containment and spread of bird flu in the Country and the instructions as conveyed by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy, Government of India, there will be no ban on import of live birds including poultry and unprocessed poultry meat for any purpose into the Union Territory of J&K sourced from non-infected areas and beyond the 10 kilometres radius of Bird Flu infected zone w.e.f 19th January 2021.”

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“However, it is mandatory for the importers/ suppliers to provide a certificate from District Veterinary Officer/ Chief Animal Husbandry Officer of the concerned district of the sourced State/UT that the source of poultry is not from any infected area/suspected area and also not within 10 kilometres radius of notified Bird Flu infected zone,” the order further reads.

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“The administration has further directed that Director Animal Husbandry Kashmir will setup a robust surveillance centre at Lower Munda to lift samples from each vehicle carrying poultry for testing and Director Animal Husbandry Jammu will further strengthen the surveillance system including testing of samples from each consignment at Lakhanpur. Further, all Chief Animal Husbandry Officers will make a system to visit poultry importers, poultry farms and sale points on a daily basis for surveillance purposes, ” it adds.

Officials said that they continue to take samples and so far all have turned negative while reports of few are pending.

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Joint Director of Poultry, Dr Mushtaq Shah told KNO that so far no poultry product hasn’t been imported.

“As per the direction a robust surveillance centre at Lower Munda to lift samples from each vehicle carrying poultry for testing will be established,” he said.

Shah said that people can use cooked poultry products easily and there is no need to worry.

The authorities in J&K had sounded high alert after bird flu cases were reported from nine states of India.

Meanwhile, poultry dealers have appealed to authorities to create awareness among the masses about the safe consumption of poultry as bird flu scare has reduced the demand for poultry products.

Doctors in J&K have also cautioned people not to eat raw poultry parts or raw eggs, however, cooked poultry is safe to use.

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